RIVERTON — Rival high schools Bingham and Riverton faced off in a high-intensity region game Thursday night at Riverton.
With a pumped-up crowd behind them, the Riverton Silverwolves seemed poised to beat the Miners and erase the one-game difference between the two teams in the Region 4 standings.
Bingham had other ideas.
The Miners jumped out to a quick lead and made things tough on their rival the rest of the way. Bingham ultimately beat the 'Wolves 49-39 Thursday to move to 4-0 in Region 4. Riverton dropped to 2-2.
Bingham started the game on a 10-0 run before Riverton was forced to take a timeout to stop the Miners' momentum.
The Silverwolves found themselves trying to chase their way back the rest of the game.
Bingham held Riverton’s top scorer coming into the game, senior Whitney Saunders, scoreless in the first half.
“Bingham is the real deal. They were real aggressive on Whitney and they were really clicking. We just weren’t today. We had a bad start to the game (and) found ourselves trying to overcome that the rest of the way,” said Riverton head coach Ron Ence.
Tenacious defense led Bingham to a six-point lead going into the half, 19-13.
The break didn’t appear to slow Bingham in the slightest as it ran off an 8-0 run to start the third quarter, going up 27-13, which was its largest lead of the game. Riverton didn’t back down, though, as it pulled off its own 7-0 run right away, led by a girl who used to be a Bingham Miner, Shelby Richard. She had five of those seven points during the run and finished with nine points.
Thursday's contest became a game of runs as each team would follow each other’s own attack. Bingham led by 12 heading to the fourth quarter, but Riverton immediately put on the burners as it tallied up a quick six points to pull within six points, 33-27. That was the last-ditch effort Riverton could pull off, however, as Bingham pulled away for good from there.
Saunders finally found a way around Bingham's defense as she heated up in the fourth to bring her team back into the game. She scored 14 of her 16 points in the period.
Meanwhile, senior Ashton Henderson of Bingham lit up the floor in the second half as she had 13 of her game-high 18 points just when Bingham needed them the most.
“It’s someone different every night on this team. It just happened to be me tonight," said Henderson.